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News: JManga Closes Adruptly

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Sayori x3
Post #591290 - Reply to (#591287) by cmertb
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5:02 am, Mar 18 2013
Posts: 99


Quote from cmertb
But manga typesetting is still somewhat harder per line than its anime counterpart -- subtitle timing. Ditto for cleaning versus encoding. Now consider this in terms of revenue per staff hour spent. Given how many people will look at an anime episode compared to a manga chapter (even if we assume ~5 weekly manga chapters [100 pages] = 1 anime ep), you see a problem, right? Now consider the competition (i.e. fansubbers vs scanlators): you can read any scanlated manga on an online aggregator within 60 seconds of you deciding to try it. Finding fansubs you want is a bit more challenging, not to mention the time it takes to dl them. I suppose CR is actually easier in terms of effort alone, without even considering money, than getting fansubs. Completely the opposite seems to be true of scanlation. Even if a legit manga publisher decided to give manga away for free with whatever half-baked DRM scheme they come up with (like a Flash reader), fans would still more likely go to current aggregator sites where there's more choice and no DRM.

I don't know how much CR is making, but if they're barely breaking even, for example, a CR-like scanlator would be deeply in the red.

I'm more and more convinced that given the current scanlation scene, legit manga translation can't hope to compete. Only crowd funding seems to be a viable option to me (something like estimate the cost of translation beforehand, get money from fans to do the work in advance, and then count any additional sales as profit). And even that is doubtful without some ruthless C&D'ing, i.e. first you gotta remove a scanlator before the fans will pay up to continue a title.


You couldn't have said it any better. eyes

On a side question, don't anime studios provide companies like Crunchyroll with the raws and the scripts together? Would remove the need for translating on-the-fly from the raw.

Last edited by Sayori x3 at 5:23 am, Mar 18

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cmertb
Post #591336
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2:26 pm, Mar 18 2013
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Yes, as far as I know even fansubbers often get closed captions with their raws these days. If you have cc's, translation of anime certainly becomes easier than manga.

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Sayori x3
Post #591361 - Reply to (#591336) by cmertb
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5:30 pm, Mar 18 2013
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Quote from cmertb
Yes, as far as I know even fansubbers often get closed captions with their raws these days. If you have cc's, translation of anime certainly becomes easier than manga.


I'm pretty sure any group with a personal raw supplier (not public raw) is capable of getting the CC directly from the TV or box, and in furigana too.

But these days, more and more fansubbing groups just like manga scanlation are going for the public raws since they can get them freely and don't have to find a raw supplier.

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CuteManabi
Post #591365 - Reply to (#591234) by RS456
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7:21 pm, Mar 18 2013
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Quote from RS456
Or just give two sets one with text and the other without text. There are ways to do it. If they go digital with option of buying print version they can completely cut off surplus printing losses. Redrawing is not as labor intensive as some make it out to be if you have the right stuff. With anim ...

Just to note, one of the few neat features of Jmanga's annoying reader is you get both the original Japanese scan and the translated version. When viewing, the bottom right overlay that pops up has a button with a globe and the word "ENG" by default. Click on that, it'll chang to "JPN" and show you the original Japanese version. I'm not sure many people know it exists, I discovered it by accident by doing a "I wonder what this button does" thing. I'm actually going to screencap both versions, just to be safe. Can't hurt to have decent raw scans too. eyes

I need to thank AnonMan for recommending Gadwin Printscreen in this thread. I hadn't found it yet and it works far better than the other screenshot programs I'd found so far. smile I'm going to try screenshotting on my HTPC since I can rotate the screen and get ~1900px high screen real estate. Hopefully it'll give me better quality images. smile wink grin

Quote from cmertb
I'm more and more convinced that given the current scanlation scene, legit manga translation can't hope to compete. Only crowd funding seems to be a viable option to me (something like estimate the cost of translation beforehand, get money from fans to do the work in advance, and then count any additional sales as profit). And even that is doubtful without some ruthless C&D'ing, i.e. first you gotta remove a scanlator before the fans will pay up to continue a title.

I don't think it's impossible to compete, it's just that Jmanga simply was not the way to do it. If you look at music in the US, pretty much all of it's sold without any DRM now (iTunes, Amazon both are at least majority of tracks DRM free), but the music industry is doing quite nicely. New services like Spotify and others like it have increased revenue for them even more. So I think it's possible to compete, just there's nothing legit out there that has any chance in hell at this moment.

That said, I suspect the main problem will be getting licenses for any service that has a realistic chance to be competitive. The Japanese publishers seem to be pretty reluctant to allow experimentation. I'm pretty sure most of the stuff we disliked most about Jmanga were due to publisher demands (stupid Flash reader, no way to download your manga, etc.) Hell, even selection of titles was probably restricted due to publishers refusing to license to the service.

So competing with free manga scanlations is possible, but unlikely until the publishers come around. Ironically, if I'm remembering it correctly, Crunchyroll backdoored their way into legitimacy. They were originally pretty much a pirate site with people sharing streaming videos of anime they uploaded. Then at some point CR decided to go legit and were able to use their traffic levels as negotiation leverage to get some licenses to start out. They proved it would work, and that opened more doors, etc. I'm betting it'll take something like that to get the Japanese manga publishers on board for a realistic competitor.

One final note: it's not like the Japanese publishing industry is unique here. The US comics industry is doing the same stupid stuff, and even the book publishers are being really stupid about DRM. (It's so insanely easy to strip the DRM off an ebook it's pathetic, all they're doing it making it hard for legit customers to use their book on multiple devices from different manufacturers.) So don't think I'm criticizing them exclusively, I think it's stupid no matter who does it. roll eyes

cmertb
Post #591377
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8:57 pm, Mar 18 2013
Posts: 159


If by "compete" you mean make a service that's as good as a current manga aggregator that will make fans come to that site and read legit scans, then yes. If you mean all of the above, plus make money on it, then no.

Your analogy with CR doesn't work for reasons described above. Your analogy with the music industry doesn't work for reasons described above plus the fact that so many people have been sued and prosecuted for sharing pirated music, so many sites have been shut down, and countless C&Ds and DMCA notices have been issued.

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imercenary
Post #591400 - Reply to (#591223) by Sayori x3
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1:39 am, Mar 19 2013
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Quote from Sayori x3
I explain tiers as more of a way of generalizing what kind of population of readers is expected from a manga series once it starts coming out. Usually, the heavily cliched ones these days get more readers than the somewhat uncommon genres that get put out.

I mean market cap as more of how big the ...


Then you're basically complaining about a self-made catch-22. If "low-" or "mid-" tier mangas have fewer readers, its only natural that you won't expand (or worse, shrink) the audience if you don't increase content. In your scenario; you want the audience to grow, but you won't increase content until the audience grows.

Thats not how things work in the real world. Successful/profitable businesses do not necessarily continuously expand. Reporting a profit one year doesn't necessarily mean you take that money and spend it all on hiring more translators/licensing more manga/increasing production capacity. You're not being realistic in regards to market forces or the possibility of a product failing.

Why would you refer to manga companies as single-entity owned in the first place? Thats not very realistic when you consider the EXTREME top-down Japanese management style.

Sayori x3
Post #591412 - Reply to (#591400) by imercenary
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3:22 am, Mar 19 2013
Posts: 99


Quote from imercenary
Then you're basically complaining about a self-made catch-22. If "low-" or "mid-" tier mangas have fewer readers, its only natural that you won't expand (or worse, shrink) the audience if you don't increase content. In your scenario; you want the audience to grow, but you won't incr ...


In the case of manga licensing, if a company licenses too many low-audience manga series, they'll only be focusing too much effort on series that may just as well not get many readers over the short-term. You already know for a fact that they're not earning enough, so for a new or small licensee company to start off, they almost HAVE to resort to the higher popularity series. And that poses a problem, if most are already available elsewhere licensed.

Yes, businesses that have earned revenue do not necessarily spend it the moment they have it. I think you may have interpreted my reply as assuming that all companies immediately try to get bigger. What I mean was that those newer or smaller companies precisely start off small, and with that, they won't exactly have a large population base buying from them early on.

I know very well that most licensee companies are just subsidiary divisions of their Japanese host companies. That doesn't mean that 100% of their profit goes straight to them. We're talking about the international marketplace here, so talking about the entire chain as a whole doesn't really encompass that market, as most of their sales come directly from Japan-based purchases anyway.

I think the issue all boils down to how readers expect too much from licensee companies, and licensee companies just can't provide to all of their demands. There are just too many economic factors to consider. But the one that affects these companies the most is the lack of supply and the concept that people aren't willing to pay high.

Generally, a lack of supply means that the price needs to go up in order to tune down the demand, but the dilemma that companies have with this action is the fact that the only reason why readers would pay to read manga is if a) they don't know about these free scanlations b) want it as a hard copy or c) want to support the author and/or mangaka. If the price goes up, the appeal of both b) and c) heavily drop, since it's not a dire necessity to them. And a) is a rare case scenario, since most readers probably know about scanlation by now.

With both a lack of supply and the inability to increase prices, they're just slowly going down the drain.

Sure, bigger companies can afford to take more risks and chances, but it's the smaller and/or newer ones I'm talking about that are having it the worst, since they ultimately can't compete with "free".

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imercenary
Post #591740 - Reply to (#591412) by Sayori x3
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3:30 am, Mar 21 2013
Posts: 124


Quote from Sayori x3
In the case of manga licensing, if a company licenses too many low-audience manga series, they'll only be focusing too much effort on series that may just as well not get many readers over the short-term. You already know for a fact that they're not earning enough, so for a new or small licensee c ...


Why are you talking about new or small licensee companies? (In the US) Over 50% of all startup companies fail/shut down after 3 years. This is not unique to the manga industry.

Again, why are you talking about new/smaller companies?

Yeah, but it also means that 100% of their "license expenses" are paid out of pocket either. If Viz Media wants to license Doraemon, they don't have to pay millions of dollars. They simply call their parent company, Shogakukan, the same people who published it in Japan, paperwork is written up, and voila! Viz Media is publishing Doraemon in the US.

I'm not sure how theres a lack of supply when there are literally dozens of ongoing manga series, that aren't licensed in the U.S. Pricing is a moot argument since licensing companies don't even bring the manga over in a timely fashion. You're basically arguing that audiences get what they deserve because they refuse to buy outdated content.

In other words, licensing companies are inflating prices. I don't think you understand how market expansion works.

I'm not sure how the inability to increase prices is a problem seeing as supply didn't increase when the USD was worth more than the Yen. Vice versa, supply hasn't decreased despite the fact that the Yen has been appreciating to the USD. You seem to be talking out of your ass here.

Again, why are you looking at new/smaller companies?

Sayori x3
Post #591753 - Reply to (#591740) by imercenary
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5:06 am, Mar 21 2013
Posts: 99


This thread was originally about JManga, which is technically a new and small company.

You seem heavily focused on arguing that companies like VIZ can do well. For one thing, I never said they couldn't. Second, they focus heavily on the big name titles anyway.

I was only stating the fact that newer and/or smaller companies like JManga can't hope to compete by trying to release the more unpopular titles since nobody would buy them at those prices. And as you say, it's exactly becoming like a catch-22 since if nobody pays for them, they won't allocate the resources to making them available.

And if these companies can only focus on the more popular manga series to earn money, they already have to compete with the more bigger companies for them, since they're already being done.

I think the only reason why this argument has gone this far is likely because you believe that I'm trying to say that all licensee manga companies can't compete. That's not what I was implying, and as per what the original topic was about, I thought you'd figure that I was talking about the smaller companies. I only now realized that you got me all wrong.

Last edited by Sayori x3 at 5:24 am, Mar 21

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imercenary
Post #591849 - Reply to (#591753) by Sayori x3
Member

10:24 pm, Mar 21 2013
Posts: 124


Quote from Sayori x3
This thread was originally about JManga, which is technically a new and small company.

You seem heavily focused on arguing that companies like VIZ can do well. For one thing, I never said they couldn't. Second, they focus heavily on the big name titles anyway.

I was only stating the fact that new ...


JManga is a joint venture by Crunchyroll and Toppan Printing (a Nikkei 225 company, the Japanese equivalent of the Dow Jones Industrial Average). It may be new, but its NOT a small company.

And yet it took almost 6 years for Viz Media to license One Piece despite being a big name title. You have a very unusual standard for "focus".

I don't even recall stating that nobody would pay for more unpopular titles.

There are plenty of larger mangas that manage to get picked up by smaller companies all the time. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya got picked up by Yen Press and Yu-Gi-Oh was originally published (in the US) by Gollancz Manga (way to drop the ball Shueisha.) They're not THE biggest, but that has more to do with licensing contracts and marketing muscle. (No one has picked up To Love-Ru in the 7 years its been out; do you seriously want to try arguing that smaller publishers haven't tried by now?)

KiaW
Post #592379
Member

12:58 am, Mar 26 2013
Posts: 1


Well I was pretty mad that JManga was closing down because I had bought from them, sure I knew I could take screen caps of the manga but I had a better idea. I figured out where the got the images from (reversed engineered their system) and how they encrypted them. I then built a program that could download purchased manga (the actual file they display, it is NOT taking screencaps) in both enUS and jaJP. I figured it could help others out so I am decided to release it. If anyone is interested in getting the actual images that they purchased then please try my program (It comes with instructions). It might look small in file size but that is because most programs that are just quick uses are like that, this program is less then 500 lines of code.

Well here it is enjoy!
Here is a mirror link

Last edited by KiaW at 5:50 am, Mar 26

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